How very dare you, Maplin

So I am on my facebook page, and there is this irritating, ugly, flash-animated banner ad for Maplin, the high-street purveyor of toys for boys and equipment for part-time DJs. The modern-day Tandy for those that can remember that far back. I can’t help noticing that the ad is flashing up a particularly dull array of items – the same items I’d been browsing on the Maplin website a day or two ago. I can’t remember what exactly -  a pack of CD-RW, a PC fan or something equally tedious. Coincidence? Not a bit. They had tailored an ad for me, and me alone, based on the stuff I’d been looking at days ago, via cookies or something I suppose. Then pasted it onto my facebook page. Cheeky monkeys, I thought.

So I emailed them. ‘It’s like your shop assistant knocking on my door the day after I visited a Maplins shop, ‘I wrote, ‘and ‘reminding me’ what I had been looking at – in case I wanted to buy. How very annoying.’

And they agreed. They wrote back.

‘We do want to begin by apologising if the advertising found on a third party site was intrusive. This had been scheduled for trial as part of our campaign to raise awareness of Maplin and after a very brief period we found, as your email suggests, it actually had the opposite effect.

Yes in theory it sounded like the ideal opportunity to offer a selection of items to customers whom we new were already interested in but in hindsight we do not want to come across as Big Brother.

I can confirm this trial has already ceased and won’t be re-appearing and would again like to offer our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.’

Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.

Alive with colour

Dell laptops have for years been synonymous with Dull – at least in my book. My own dull grey Inspiron was proof enough of that. But now, consumers are offered a choice of lively colours. Dell wished to communicate this online in an arresting way. Many colourful and eye-catching ideas were pitched, including this, one of a series of animated banners. None of which you will have seen running. No change there, then.

Through Enfatico. Art Director Bei Li